Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin(D-WV) have reached a deal on expanding background checks. Firearms purchases at guns shows, on the internet or “any circumstance involving paid advertising” would be subject to background checks but there would be important exemptions, such as temporary transfers and between close relatives.
“Under the terms of the Manchin-Toomey deal all background checks would be conducted by federally licensed gun firearm dealers, who would need to verify the validity of a purchaser’s gun license and record that a check was performed. Background checks would need to be completed within three days, except at gun shows, where they would have to be completed within two days for the next four years, and then within 24 hours. In order to avoid processing delays, the FBI would be required to complete background checks requested at gun shows before those requested elsewhere. […]
A precise list of which transactions would be covered by the background check deal was not immediately available. One person familiar with the discussions said the proposed legislation would likely require background checks on all advertised transactions, including those posted on Internet sale sites. It was unlikely, the person said, that sales conducted through an individual, private email exchange would be governed by the new deal. But, he added, it is impossible to say with certainty until legislative language is announced.
Although the press release issued by Manchin and Toomey explicitly states that the bill will not create a national registry and makes it illegal to establish one, Guns Saving Lives points out an important detail. “If transfers are done through a federally licensed firearms dealer there WILL be a form 4473 for every single transaction. These forms must be turned over to the government whenever a dealer changes owners or closes its doors. The ATF can also inspect these forms almost at will. This will create a de facto gun registry through the records that will be generated.” Top NRA officials and gun-rights advocates have long feared that expanded background checks will lead to a registry--and possibly confiscation.
“I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control, I think it’s just common sense, Toomey said. “It’s the people who fail criminal and mental health background checks that we don’t want having guns.”
The NRA issued a statement criticizing the Manchin-Toomey deal, saying that background checks wouldn’t have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson, and won’t stop the next:
Fairfax, Va. - Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg's "universal" background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows. The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson. We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone. President Obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers.
The Senate has scheduled a vote for Thursday and, according to the Washington Post, it looks like Democrats have the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted Democratic efforts to pass new gun-control bills on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday—particularly legislation that expands background checks.
“The current system is broken,” he said. “Why in the world would you expand that system if you’re not enforcing the law that exists today to include private transfers? So I think that legislation is going nowhere, but I’d like to have a robust debate about improving the system.”
As an example of how the system is broken, Graham explained, "There are 76,000 people last year who that failed a background check and less than 1 percent got prosecuted.” He continued: “There are 9,000 people in 2010 failed a background check who were felons on the run and none of them were prosecuted.” So before efforts are made to expand background checks to include private individuals, resources need to be directed at fixing the current system, he argued.
Even still, Graham said nothing being discussed would have prevented the Sandy Hook massacre: “The guy did not fail a background check.”
Graham also said he would not join the five Senate Republicans who pledged to filibuster any legislation that infringes on the Second Amendment. “The only way I would filibuster a bill is if Sen. Reid did not allow alternative amendments.”
Senate Dems have switched their focus to background checks since bans on semi-automatic weapons are out of the picture:
New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he once called background checks the sweet spot “because it would do a whole lot of good and have a good chance of passing.”
“I’m working very hard with both Democrats and Republicans, pro-(National Rifle Association) and anti-NRA people, to come up with a background check that will be acceptable to 60 senators and be very strong and get the job done,” he said. “It’s very hard and we’re working hard and I’m very hopeful that we can get this passed.”
Reid is expected to bring legislation to the floor next month.
The Easter sermon President Obama and his family heard today at nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church slammed conservatives as being racists, sexists, xenophobes and homophobes.
The AP story says the sermon, led by Rev. Luis Leon, was based on the Gospel of John and the Resurrection of Jesus, but the report managed to omit the part where Leon criticized the “captains of the religious right.”
Leon used his sermon to encourage parishoners to look forward and not be stuck in the past, and he added a political edge with criticism of some right-leaning conservative Christians.
“The captains of the religious right are always calling us back, back, back,” he said. “For blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet, and for … immigrants to be on their side of the border,” he said.
Obama has made immigration reform a goal of his second term, and the themes of women’s equality and gay marriage were major issues during his 2012 re-election campaign.
Although the First Family has not officially joined any church in the District, they worship at St. John’s most frequently, according to the Washington Post.
*Note: This post has been updated to reflect an account of the sermon by Reuters, which includes the reference to 'gays in the closet'.
If you’re one of the roughly 2 billion Christians celebrating Easter today and you haven’t yet tried the Bing vs. Google challenge, it may be a good day to give it a shot. Today’s 'Google Doodle’ celebrates the birthday of leftist labor leader Cesar Chavez rather than Easter Sunday. Via Breitbart:
March 31 marks the birthday of National Farm Workers Association (later United Farm Workers) co-founder Cesar Chavez. Chavez, who was trained by Saul Alinsky in the tactics of community organizing, has become a cult figure in California due to his organization of agricultural workers. March 31 also happens to be another important date this year: Easter. So, naturally, Google’s current logo features a graphic of Chavez’s face, rather than anything having to do with Easter.
Bing’s background on the other hand features a secular tradition associated with Easter rather than a religious theme, but hey—it sure beats Cesar Chavez.
President Obama may not be addressing the nearly 14 percent unemployment rate in the black community, but that’s not stopping BET founder Bob Johnson from speaking up. Via CNS News:
“This country would never tolerate white unemployment at 14 and 15 percent. No one would ever stay in office at 14 or 15 percent unemployment in this nation, but we’ve had that double unemployment for over 50 years,” Johnson said while speaking at the National Press Club about the gap between whites and blacks in America.
“The national average is 7.7 percent, and African-American unemployment is 13.8 percent. To be honest, it’s probably greater than that when you count the number of African-Americans who have simply given up on finding employment,” said Johnson, who is also founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies. […]
Johnson said the challenge was to figure out why the unemployment rate for blacks has been so high, “and if that doesn’t change, somebody’s going to have to pay— 34 million African-Americans are not going to leave this country, millions of African-Americans who don’t have jobs.”
“Somebody’s going to have to pay for them. Somebody’s going to have to take care of them, and if somebody’s going to have to take care of them, that money’s got to come from somebody. And whoever’s paying for it is going to be upset about it, and they’re going to start looking for somebody to blame,” Johnson said.
Fifty percent of African-Americans blame the failed education system for minorities/African Americans, according to a poll commissioned by Johnson. Indeed--our public education system is failing far too many students in this country. For just one example, take a look at New York City where 80 percent of high school graduates need to relearn basic skills such as reading, writing and math before they can enter the City University’s community college system. But just as Johnson is right about needing to figure out the root causes for such high unemployment in the African-American community, the same argument can be made for failing schools. Some say it all begins with the breakdown of the traditional family in the black community. Crystal Wright weighs in:
In his 1965 research paper The Negro Family: the Case for National Action, Daniel Patick Moynihan then Assistant Secretary of Labor revealed the breakdown down of the black family was contributing to higher black dropout and incarceration rates and lower wealth achievement compared to whites. Moynihan warned, “The white family has achieved a high degree of stability and is maintaining that stability. By contrast, the family structure of lower class Negroes is highly unstable, and in many urban centers is approaching complete breakdown.”
Moynihan further noted there was an alarming trend in the number of black families headed by single women and the rise in illegitimate births among blacks. In 1964, 23.6% of black births were to unwed mothers today it’s 72%. Moynihan reminded us of what holds true today, when teenagers have children they are less likely to finish high school and climb the economic ladder.
The unemployment rate for black teens in 1965 was 29%, today it’s 40%. Since the days of Johnson, Democrat policies like welfare have only worsened the problem for blacks by rewarding black women with taxpayer dollars for raising fatherless children. Moynihan’s report it reads like it was written yesterday rather than nearly 50 years ago. “In a word, the tangle of pathology is tightening,” wrote Moynihan. Indeed it is. The destruction of the black family is where blacks should be firmly directing their outrage…”
Seventy percent of American voters support building the Keystone XL Pipeline--three points up from last year thanks to an uptick in support from Democrats. The State Department's environmental impact statement released earlier this month concluded that there would be "no significant impacts." And in addition to the state of Nebraska, both the House and Democrat-controlled Senate have essentially given its construction a green light. The last remaining obstacle? The Obama administration, of course. It has been more than 1,600 days since the initial permits were filed to build the pipeline and the GOP is turning up the heat on the administration to approve work.
In the weekly Republican address, Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry explains, once again, how the pipeline will create jobs, make energy more affordable, increase energy security and bring more North American energy to the marketplace. Plus, it won't cost taxpayers a dime. Terry says building the pipeline is a "no-brainer" but the administration is "using every bureaucratic trick and excuse in the book" to block it. The pipeline has broad bipartisan support and now is the time to build. “No more delays, no more politics,” Terry said. “If the president continues to drag his feet Congress is prepared to act."
Actor Jim Carrey’s “Cold Dead Hand” video unleashed a firestorm of outrage among conservatives and gun-rights advocates—and for good reason. In one pathetic song, Carrey, who enjoys the protection of an armed bodyguard, mocks the nearly 90 million gun owners in this country, Charlton Heston and rural America. Allahpundit over at Hot Air summed it up best when he said the song is “neither funny nor biting” but rather, is “basically an extended dick joke of the sort that’s been thrown at gun owners for decades.” Indeed.
But it seems Carrey couldn’t handle Greg Gutfeld’s criticism on Fox News. The actor released a ludicrous and semi-coherent statement on Friday in response, which called Fox News “Fux News,” and referred to the network as a “giant culture fart,” and a “media colostomy bag.” Wow:
Since I released my “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines and assault rifles. I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is all they really care about.
I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.
I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies and Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.
The Five didn’t let this one go—all of them, including Bob Beckel, took shots at the “comedian’s” remarks. “Our country is great because washed-up comics have the right to suck,” Gutfeld said. “I love the First Amendment—and Twitter especially—for it exposes the soft underbelly of the celebrity simple mind. They undo everything their publicists try to mask.
Why does this matter? As Katie pointed out in her post on Carrey’s video, Culture and Hollywood trump politics on every issue, all the time. It’s important that the Right fights back and exposes Hollywood’s hypocrisy and idiocy for what it is.
Sadly, you read that headline correctly. From The Weekly Standard:
Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.
Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.
To be clear, sponsor of the bill Republican Rep. Cary Pigman has said his interest in the bill is “solely and strictly to provide care for that infant that is born alive, following any procedure, that it receives full and appropriate resuscitation.”
But Snow thinks politicians shouldn’t be the ones to decide “what constitutes the best medically appropriate treatment in any given situation.” Needless to say, the lawmakers were absolutely stunned:
"So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief," said Rep. Jim Boyd. "If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”
"We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician," said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.
Rep. Daniel Davis then asked Snow, "What happens in a situation where a baby is alive, breathing on a table, moving. What do your physicians do at that point?”
"I do not have that information," Snow replied. "I am not a physician, I am not an abortion provider. So I do not have that information.”
Rep. Jose Oliva followed up, asking the Planned Parenthood official, "You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?”
Again, Snow replied, “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”
“I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn’t you agree?” asked Oliva.
"That’s a very good question. I really don’t know how to answer that," Snow said. "I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.”
Of course Snow doesn’t elaborate on what exactly she means by “decision,” or rather how the baby should be killed, but she certainly seems to be taking a page from the Kermit Gosnell playbook—hence the type of questioning she received and look of utter shock on many of the lawmakers’ faces.
If a baby is born alive and thus becomes the patient as Rep. Jose Oliva suggests, the pro-abortion mantra ‘my body, my choice’ completely falls apart—since it’s not her body anymore, it's no longer only her choice.
But perhaps most disconcerting about this video, and as Carol points out, is the “complete absence of any apparent discomfort at the prospect of post-birth abortion -- in other words, infanticide.” Planned Parenthood's position is not just extremely disturbing, it's absolutely abhorrent.
Whether it’s NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, President Obama or Hollywood elite, they’ve all demonstrated an incredible amount of hypocrisy on the issue of gun control. Many politicians and actors have armed protection yet push gun control measures that would take away this right from the average citizen.
On Thursday Sen. Rand Paul said on Fox News’ “Hannity” that he doesn’t “begrudge” famous people for this protection because “there’s certainly enough crazy people out there that would attack on the right or the left.”
The problem arises, however, when a “for me and not thee” attitude is taken on the issue. “I think we you are being protected by people who have weapons by responsible people, I can’t see why you would be opposed to that for other people,” he said.
He continued: “Many rich Hollywood celebrities have armed guards with them at all times and many regular people who live in a poor neighborhood, who have a business in a poor neighborhood and a neighborhood that may have higher crime — those people have to suffer the vicissitudes of violent crime without protection sometimes because of gun control laws. So, yes, I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy.”
“You don’t know about the woman who has to walk to and from work through a bad neighborhood every night. You don’t know about the young lady who has to protect her land and her ranch down in south Texas from drug cartel members with fully automatic rifles. You don’t know about that. You are not in a position to tell people how to protect themselves if you don’t know what they go through on a daily basis,” Noir said.
Plain and simple, gun control solutions will do nothing to address the root cause of violence, and thus, will do little in the way of preventing it. None of the reforms the president is proposing would have changed anything about what happened at Sandy Hook, Paul told guest-host Eric Bolling—and he’s right. The only thing that could have possibly changed anything about the outcome of that horrendous day is self-defense, he argued—if somebody had been armed they might have been able to save some people.
As Noir says, gun control is just a Band-Aid on a bullet hole.
President Obama signed an executive order on Thursday authorizing an election commission designed to find ways to make voting easier at the local and state level. If you recall, Obama addressed this issue during his State of the Union address saying he wants to “improve the voting experience” in this country. “When any American—no matter where they live or what their party—are denied that right because they can’t wait for five or six or seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.”
Some of the “problems” the bipartisan commission will address include long lines on Election Day, processing overseas and military ballots, ballot simplicity, polling station placements, poll worker training, voting machine technology and limited English proficiency, according to USA Today.
But Mark Levin says these so-called problems like long lines on Election Day are myths being perpetuated by the media and the administration because they want to further weaken our voting system.
He also points to the “challenge” the commission will address of processing overseas and military ballots. “Congress passed a federal law—people overseas are supposed to get ballots early enough to actually cast them and this administration made sure they didn’t get them,” he said. “So now we have a commission to study that? What’s the proposal? Their proposal is to get our combat soldiers their damn ballots so they can vote in time. We don’t need a commission to oversee it, we need a president who gets it done!”
“This is the nationalizing of our election process,” Levin said. If this move involved voter-ID, proof of citizenship and limits on early voting and the way one can vote in order to eliminate fraud, it’d be a different story. What the president is talking about doing, however, is the opposite, Levin argues. “It’s amazing. Destroying the electoral system is said to be access to the electoral system.”
So what is the federal role for setting the rules for voting? Levin said there is none.
“In the ratification debates in the states, after the Constitutional Convention ended, after they sent draft copies of the Constitution to the states to ratify, there was much debate in the states over this issue. And some of the anti-federalists who opposed the Constitution were very, very concerned that the federal government would interfere with state election laws. And they felt if the federal government did that, the federal, central government would have control over the election process and use it to its benefit.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, I am certain is what Obama is up to.”
Full audio is available here.
H/T: The Right Scoop